More competitive curlers have opportunities to compete for national championships. The GLCA hosts four playdowns each season: Men’s and Women’s Club Nationals, Mixed Nationals, and Youth (Under 18) Nationals. Teams compete against other teams from the region, and the winner goes on the national championship. For Club Nationals, all of the members of the team must be from the same curling club. This is not a requirement for Mixed and Youth nationals.
There are also championship events that do not have playdowns. Teams may simply sign up and go. These include: Senior Nationals (for both men and women) and Mixed Doubles.
This list does not include the Men’s and Women’s Nationals and Youth (Under 21) Nationals. These events lead to world championship events and have their own rules and playdowns.
BGCC keeps brushes, step-on sliders, delivery sticks, and stabilizers for club use. Curlers are welcome to use this equipment, but it must remain in the Ice Arena. Most members will choose to buy their own equipment at some point, and this will be necessary if you ever travel to curl at other clubs.
There are general types of curling brushes: synthetic brushes and horse hair brushes. Most curlers prefer the synthetic brushes. Be aware that the synthetic heads should be cleaned frequently and replaced periodically. Horse hair brushes will last longer, but if a brush starts shedding hairs, it should be discarded.
Curling shoes are a major investment, and, in the long run, they can improve your game dramatically. If you are considering curling shoes, discuss your options with experienced curlers before buying. Unfortunately, there are no curling stores anywhere near Bowling Green – so nearly everyone purchases shoes online.
Curling shoes come with grippers (sometimes called anti-sliders) that cover the sliding surface when you are not delivering. Some new curlers have found these useful to wear over tennis shoes to improve their traction on the ice (particularly when sweeping), and they are relatively inexpensive and can be purchased separately. This is an option to consider if you are not ready to invest in curling shoes and find yourself slipping on the ice.